Twenty-five years after making its television debut, the show that redefined and revolutionized the world of user-generated content (UGC) will launch its year-long anniversary celebration with a new YouTube initiative announced today. America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV), created by veteran producer Vin Di Bona, has generated more than one million clip submissions and awarded $13 million in prize money to date.
Now, AFV will partner with some of Gen Y’s most popular YouTube stars to create original short-form programming including “ShayFV,” a new, weekly 17-episode, five minute clip show starring YouTube sensation Shay “Shay Carl” Butler.
The original content initiative extends an existing relationship between Vin Di Bona Productions and Maker Studios, the world’s largest provider of online video content for millennials, made earlier this year. The pact puts AFV in the content creation business with one of the largest global digital media brands. It allows Maker to manage AFV’s official and peripheral YouTube channels, establish new revenue streams and manage their back end business, content claiming and content ID business. Maker, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, produces and distributes content in partnership with 55,000 creators, garnering 9 billion monthly views and attracting more than 550 million loyal subscribers worldwide.
“ShayFV” will be a weekly 3-5 minute clip show set to premiere on Maker.tv, Maker’s proprietary web platform, Sunday, October 19th. The series will also be available on the Shaytards YouTube channel (youtube.com/shaytards), which currently boasts 2.4 million subscribers, and features Shay Carl and his family’s daily adventures. Shay Carl, coined the “father of YouTube,” is one of the most successful digital stars today featuring family-friendly content. Audience challenges associated with “ShayFV” will also premiere weekly on AFV’s YouTube destination (youtube.com/AFVofficial). Shay will create special video assignments urging the community to upload videos, which will be considered for inclusion in his show.
Since forging the deal with Maker, AFV’s channels, which feature exclusive clips, classic fan favorites and laugh-out-loud montages, have grown significantly and currently generate over 20 million monthly views. In addition to “ShayFV,” Vin Di Bona Productions in association with Maker, will create original and in-show opportunities for other digital talent who engage millennial audiences.
Popular digital stars including comedians Jason Horton, Ceciley Jenkins, and Ed Bassmaster, will be reenacting some of the show’s most iconic and humorous clips in “AFV Do Overs,” putting their special and irreverent spin on some of America’s most well-loved segments, airing one week before the show premiere on the AFV YouTube channel. Talent such as Sam Macaroni, Barely Political, Edward Vilderama, Very Good Listeners’ Brian Morgan and Brooke “Dodger” Lawson will also make in-show appearances throughout the 25th anniversary season engaging with host Tom Bergeronduring the tapings and providing post show commentary and interviews which will appear on AFV’s official channel and the talent’s respective YouTube channels. Plus, digital star Jason Horton will take on AFV’s studio audience for a new improv series entitled “America’s Funniest Line” (AFL), which will premiere Sunday, October 5th on AFV’s YouTube channel timed to the debut of ABC’s longest running primetime entertainment series at 7:00 pm ET/PT. The series began production last month on their 25th season at Manhattan Beach Studios.
Vin Di Bona, AFV creator, said: “As we embark on this milestone 25th year of television, I am constantly in awe of the tremendous growth of the viral video category. I never could have imagined, when I first pitched this idea in 1989, that using viewer generated content to entertain families would become the phenomenon it is today. Our relationship with Shay Carl and YouTube’s talented roster of comedians is the perfect extension of the AFV brand as we continue our quest to engage a new generation of AFV fans and develop memorable destinations for every platform for audiences who love to laugh.”
Maker Studios’ chief audience officer, Chris M. Williams adds: “‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ was truly groundbreaking when it first came to television 25 years ago. It has become part of pop culture vernacular and has, through its premise, made viral videos an integral part of our daily lives. We are thrilled to be working with Vin and his team to produce the kind of memorable content that took AFV to where it is today and look forward to expanding the profiles of some of our most beloved digital talent with the help of AFV’s passionate television audience.”
Shay Carl said: “I was nine years old when I started watching AFV—and it has been a HUGE influence on my decision to start vlogging and pursue my content career.” He added: “If it wasn’t for AFV, I may have never posted that first video of me dancing in a unitard. I am extremely excited about taking what can only be the next big step for my family, my channel and my audience with this new partnership.”